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Smerconish

American political and news stories of the week.

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Donald Sterling 6, Us 6, Christie 6, Lakers 5, Rick Scott 4, Cnn 4, Geico 4, Clippers 4, Subaru 4, Gloria Allred 3, Kevin 3, Benghazi 3, John Boehner 3, Ben Rhodes 3, Clinton 3, Donald 3, Los Angeles 3, Bo Kimball 2, Bo 2, Subaru Forester 2,
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  CNN    Smerconish    American political and  
   news stories of the week.  

    May 2, 2014
    6:00 - 7:01pm PDT  

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on cnn, a powerful interview. we at cnn produced the interview, very powerful. we encourage you to watch it. that is it from us on cnn. "smerconish" starts now. and good evening, i'm michael smerconish. and tonight, donald sterling is breaking his silence. as if he had not done enough talking already. he is not apologizing for the racist remarks caught on tape which ignited the storm. no, the man who still owns the l.a. clippers is blaming the woman heard on the tape with him. v. stiff anvianstiviano. and said i wish i had just paid her off. stiviano, the woman behind the mark said they were just good friends. when asked why sterling gave her such expensive gifts, the
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attorney said quote, because he cares about her. meanwhile, espn reports that sterling has been fighting cancer. cnn has not been able to confirm the report. and when they asked stiviano about it, her response was less than illuminating. did you know that donald sterling was fighting cancer? >> excuse me, why are you holding the microphone. >> i don't know, it's my job. >> we have a lot to talk about here, joining me now is cnn's rachel nicoles, also, the original jerry mcguire. rachel, not an apology but regret at not having paid her off. >> yes, not regret or anything else that the country would like to hear. any nba owner who may have been waffling about gee, my old
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friend donald, should i vote him out? is this a slippery slope? you can't work with this man or have him associate with your league. >> well, maybe i'm over-thinking it, but the statement, i wish i had paid her off. the implication is that she was looking to be paid off. is it not? >> i think it is. the whole thing is like out of alice in wonderland. it gets curiouser and curiouser. this woman has been out roller skating out of her house with sort of a duck-billed viser. she doesn't want any press, she knows they're out there. i think what you're seeing with donald sterling is denial. and you would hope that someone would be around him to give him some real life advice here. and explain to him the dilemma that he is in. i don't think he is really aware of the fact that -- that
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yesterday, ten owners said we want him out. we want him revoked. he has five days to respond. after that, there is ten days until the hearing. and if they vote 3/4 after that hearing, that franchise automatically transfers directly to the league. and it doesn't matter what any of this or the rest of it is, and there is a clause, 14 j, that says when you have a revocation hearing every owner agrees that the decision is final, binding, and they wouldn't take recourse in court. >> so to use the line for which you're known at least for tom cruise, are they going to have to show him the money? how are they going to resolve the financial issue and put a price tag on that team? >> they don't necessarily have to accept the highest offer. once the franchise transfers, it is not his business anymore.
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he bought it for $12 million. it is probably worth somewhere north to $700. what happens is they put a list of criteria together. and one of them will be to scrutinize any statements or ideas of racism or any other problems. and they will look for the group that most represents the deep pocket owner who has the wherewithal, and finally get the clippers as more than the step brother here. and second of all, somebody in the group. it will be layered with entertainers, blacks, latinos, representatives of southern california that can make it heal. this is the first time in the history of the clippers they have an actual opportunity to start to re-take the market down here in los angeles. >> rachel, in the court of public opinion -- and i hear your point at the outset that
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this is a guy who hardly could be rehabilitated, right? at some level does it help him that she is wearing that -- whatever that contrapion is? do people really say -- wear that? >> she has the pink one for day, the night for night, you have to have the style visors, but this thing is, it doesn't matter how crazy she is, she is a side show, a circus act. some is serious, this is being incredibly racist throughout years and years. there is evidence. all kinds of lawsuits that have been filed and you're dealing with a league of players and coaches and managers and now owners who don't want to deal with it. fans who don't want him in their game. and trust me the players are watching this process very, very closely. lee was outlining it takes five days. it takes ten days for this.
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but if it does start to drag on, because by the way, the ten owners who unanimously decided to quote move expeditiously -- >> no one wants to stand up to the snow ball that is taking place. stick with me, i want to bring in bo kimball, thank you for joining us. would you please give us the version of now, why you may not have received more playing time while on the clippers? >> well, donald sterling is a very shrewd businessman. and when i was playing for the clippers i had a clause in my contract that if i played over 15 minutes per game, i made $300,000. and we did that just so there wouldn't be a long holdout. i would be able to join the team
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after contract negotiations. little did i know that it would be to my demise. but again, it is a business. and donald sterling was not thinking about that and winning games. when you have a lottery ticket and the averages per game, you would think that a team that lacks scoring and was not winning at the time, it was my assumption they would allow me to play and bring the body to the team right away. >> and in other words, you think he gave the word not to let bo kimball play, because i don't want to write a check for 300 k? >> well, i found out the information from somebody in the front office and i was shocked to hear it at the time. but it all made sense. when you are losing 25 out of 30 games you have your top draft choice sitting on the bench and you're not scoring and shooting well then it all comes together.
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i just found that out last year, if i knew half the things i knew, probably would have been more selfish. put the ball in the hole. you cannot score from the bench. from the business perspective my hands were tied. costing me millions in endorsements and opportunity for a contract. so it really was detrimental to my family. but at the same time i was honored to be a clipper. i wasn't an eighth pick. >> if that is the way the story unfolded and i don't doubt bo's word in that regard it doesn't sound like a guy who is going to go quietly into the night, meaning sterling. i wonder the more it plays itself out, the more the value is diminished. maybe that is the incentive. >> no, it is not diminished. because it is a franchise with the opportunity to do a media contract very akin to the lakers and to the dodgers. it doesn't have that kind of contract now.
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it is a growth stock. donald sterling is penurious, and has been for years. i understand bo's story and bo was a very popular player coming out of loyola and a fan favorite. the reality of this situation is that this is all just a death rattle. because there is no way that adam silver, kevin johnson, the union are going to allow this to drag on. they will force the issue very quickly. this firestorm is not going away. this is the most vilified public figure in sports since michael vick and dog fighting. this issue has engaged the entire country. there is not a being in the united states who has followed the news that does not have an opinion on all of this. >> speaking of opinion, when we
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come back, oil share polling data with you. thank you, now that donald sterling has broken his silence what will it mean for a possible sale for the clippers? and v. stiviano has seemed to avoid an investigation into a secret recording. how come? well, we'll ask gloria allred next. defiance is in our bones. defiance never grows old. citracal maximum. calcium citrate plus d. highly soluble, easily absorbed. and i'm his mom at the dog park. the kids get trail mix, and here's what you get after a full day of chasing that cute little poodle from down the street. mm hmm delicious milo's kitchen chicken meatballs. they look homemade, which he likes almost as much as making new friends yes, i'll call her. aww, ladies' man. milo's kitchen.
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thanks, g.
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out tonight, but what he is saying doesn't seem to be helping his cause and it certainly doesn't seem like it will change the minds of the nba owners who are beginning the process of deciding whether to force sterling to sell the los angeles clippers. joining me now, victim's rights attorney, gloria allred, who has known donald sterling and his wife for many years. also, lee steinberg. i have to begin with you, gloria, acquiring minds want to know. why aren't you representing this woman? >> i have no comment on that. and she does have an attorney. >> uh-huh, are you surprised there is not an investigation under way by the los angeles district attorney's office about the context in which the recordings took place? >> not necessarily, michael. for this reason. we really don't know what all of the facts are. i have seen reports, for example, that say that she was his archivist, that she, in
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other words, was recording him with his knowledge, with his consent. i have seen other reports that say that someone else was there who heard it. and so the real question is, did she do anything illegal? of course in california it is a two-party state. both parties to the recording must consent to the recording with limited exceptions. so essentially, her position is that he had knowledge of it. that she didn't do anything illegal. and of course reports also say she denies having released it to the press. >> there is a new poll out from "the new york times" and cbs. i want to get my guests to react to this. let me just tell you relative to donald sterling's punishment, 9% say too lenient, 25% say too hard, 55% like the porridge, say it is just right. the 25% that say it is too hard,
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lee, does that take you by surprise? >> not at all. i think there is a real strong undercurrent here that is not the way most of the country feelings. which is that there is freedom of speech. and that he should not be punished for free speech. and then there is a strong sentiment that it should not be taken from him. that you own this. people misunderstand. when someone buys a franchise in professional sports it is not like buying another private business. it is bought subject to a whole set of rules, by-laws, and the better interests of the sport. and the owners agree to that. they understand that there is an over-weaning interest in the sport to have their brand be strong. to have public opinion. this is not every day bread and burton the table. we're talking about discretionary entertainment spending. so there is an entertainment
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business aspect to it. they know that when they buy it. so there is an undercurrent of rugged individualism and private property here. but it is -- it is misperceived because this is not a taking of some private business. it is a league standing up and saying we have an existential threat here. this third -- >> i might disagree. >> go ahead. >> i might disagree, well in the sense that you know, i don't know what -- which argument would prevail should don sterling file a lawsuit against the nba if they vote that he is forced to sell his franchise. he may make an argument that in fact, that this is a restraint of trade. that in fact that the owners are colluding him to force him to sell. he may make an argument that
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there is nothing specific in the nba constitution or by-laws about making racial statements or personal comments to disenfranchise him, forcing him to sell his business. i'm not saying he will prevail in the courts. but what i'm saying is that he may make arguments and have this tied up for a very long time. >> gloria, you have a lot of experience with high profile cases. and something that du jour reports that sterling said, he wishes he paid her off. if you were counseling him from a pr standpoint and you have to pick that person with whom he is going to eventually share his story is that the direction in which you would go? >> well, let me just say first about the remark, wish i had paid her off. if he had an opportunity to settle it and resolve it confidentially that would have been a great opportunity for him to avail himself of. but apparently he didn't take
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that opportunity if he had it. in reference to who he speaks to, you know, it may be that barbara walters, who is a long-time friend. i don't know. and maybe he feels comfortable speaking with her if, as and when he decides to speak and give an interview. he is also a lawyer with a very active law firm. i am sure he is going to be very you know, careful about his words, although he was not necessarily so careful when he spoke to his girlfriend. who now says she was just a friend. >> lee, do i understand you to say this actually represents an opportunity for the clippers to supplant the lakers as a franchise, and if so how? >> well, first of all i want to make the point that under the constitution, that he said he would follow, when revocation occurs, 14 j says every owner will accept the decision as final and binding.
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and moreover, no owner will take legal recourse to court. so he specifically waived the right to challenge this decision. >> got it. what is the upside? clippers versus -- i'm limited on time. i want to hear your thoughts. >> so here is where we are. the lakers are in the worst position they have been in since they have been in los angeles. they have no cap room. an aging star in kobe bryant with no one behind it. they charge top premium dollars for all of their seats, everything else. the clippers have two incredibly marketable stars in chris paul and blake griffin. they also have a great coach marketable in doc rivers. l.a. is a little bit of a front-running town. after a couple of years of the lakers being in the state, they have a new group, top quality -- >> i get it, having nothing to
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do with this catastrophe you say they have the raw talent to pass the lakers. gloria allred, always a privilege. lee steinberg, great to see you, as well. next, what happened on t regarding the attacks on benghazi, in libya hey kevin...still eating chalk for hearburn? yea. try alka seltzer fruit chews. they work fast on heart burn and taste awesome. these are good. told ya! i'm feeling better already. alka-seltzer fruit chews. enjoy the relief! to your old cleaning ways again not once you've tried mr. clean's new liquid muscle. it's a concentrated liquid gel with 2 1/2 times more power per drop, so a little goes a long way. new liquid muscle. when it comes to clean, there's only one mr.
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. i want to turn to a question of credibility and it goes back to september 11, 2012, when the
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assault at the compound in benghazi killed four americans, the questions about who was to blame, then ambassador susan rice said the assault grew out of a protest on the video about the prophet, mohammed. republicans blasted that assertion, and later it became clear that an al-qaeda group was part of the terrorist attack. five months later, i interviewed president obama in the oval office. is it true that your statements and those of ambassador rice were simply repeating what the pdb's were tell iing you? >> what is true is that the intelligence was coming in, and evolving as more information came up. and what is true, this is something that the american people can take to the bank. is that my administration plays this stuff straight. we don't play politics when it
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comes to american national security. so what we consistently have done throughout my presidency and what we did in this circumstance, as information came in we gave it to the american people. and as we got new information we gave that to the american people. and that includes, by the way, members of congress. so you know one of the things that always frustrates me about this town is when people go out there and try to politicalize issues, despite knowing. >> now more than 19 months later, the battle over benghazi shows now sign of dying down. speaking john boehner says he will form a select committee to investigate. the house oversight committee, darryl issa says he has subpoenaed secretary of state john kerry. and ben rhodes, a international security official listed talking points for rice about protests
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about u.s. embassies in the muslim world. the talking points that under-scored that the protests were included in the internet video and not a broad failure of the policy. many have called this a policy of watergate, earlier i talked to carl bernstein to see if he agreed. >> you created the benchmark for scandal. and of course ever thereafter, everybody wants to say this is another watergate. i want to ask you has there been another watergate since watergate? >> watergate was about a criminal president of the united states who presided over a criminal presidency for virtually the whole of his time. as the president of the united states. and was recognized as such particularly by his fellow republicans who led the efforts to have them removed from office when he finally left. barry goldwater, the great conservative senator from arizona marched down to the white house with a group of republican leaders finally and said mr. president, you must
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resign. this was about a criminal president, nothing we have seen since it is about a criminal president of the united states. >> how about benghazi? >> and benghazi is certainly not about a criminal president of the united states or anything of the kind. however, in terms of the immediate memo that is causing such noise in washington, the white house and the state department were absolutely wrong not to have turned it over. jay carney, the white house press secretary ought to stop his double talk and say this should have been turned over. but it is all in the context of the scorched earth politics, ideological cultural war fare going on in washington for 30 years. >> so does the white house have a credibility gap when it comes to benghazi and why wasn't the administration more transparent? joining me now is christian white and a former state department senior adviser and the author of smart power between diplomacy and war.
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and mark jacobson, senior adviser to the project. with regard to the project, wherein lies the significance that it was not handed over sooner or which it actually says? >> they're going to subpoena kerry, but he can always blame it on a clerical error, to me, the more important thing is that it identifies political appointees at the white house as the source of what has been described as a cover-up. before it was not clear who changed the talking points specifically. did it happen at the embassy, the state department? now we know that ben rhodes was at the crossroads and did he have to take advice from a senior staffer at the white house. >> what was behind the information that they say should have been handed over sooner?
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>> the information from what happened at benghazi has not changed. there is an accountability review board. you have numerous officials and the former secretary of state being very clear. what worries me here is the analogy is not watergate but the mccarthy hearings. this weakens the nation. >> christian, i take it you don't see it that way. >> i don't, you know, john boehner of all people has been hesitant to go down this road. this has been something focused mostly by media that has been considered more on the conservative side. john boehner frankly wanted to spend this entire campaign season focused on obamacare. he now has been forced to do this select committee. you have the e-mail from beth jones, a senior assistant secretary of state at the state department who told and wrote the day after benghazi that no, this is the response, not to a video but this is in response to
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a terrorist attack from all sharia, the al-qaeda affiliated islamist group. and back to the interview with the president two weeks after benghazi happened the president said he was shooting straight with us and being honest. that is not true. what the select committee can discover, this is whether or not it goes up to the president and secretary clinton. >> do you see this as designed to thwart a hillary clinton effort in 2016? >> michael, let me get to it in one second. i think in what christian has said, this is the guts of it. i've been an intelligence officer for 20 years, and the first thing you are taught is that first reports are often wrong. and i think in your interview, and in fact in the beth jones e-mail and the ben rhodes discussion of the talking points what you see is a white house trying to get to the bottom of what happened. it was not clear what happened initially.
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and again, i just don't understand why the committees, after nine hearings, close to 50 briefings from the administration on the issue, are not focusing on trying to fix the problems, for example, such as greater support for our diplomats abroad. quick diplomatic security forces where they're needed and making sure the department of defense and state can defend. >> so do you think it is politically motivated with an eye toward secretary clinton running in 2016? >> well, it is either politically motivated, i don't think we're talking about ignorance here yes, so they're going after secretary clinton, trying to create a political agenda that can help kind of drive this false scenario for the 2010 campaign. >> this was drummed in the last presidential cycle and without the intended effect. do you think now this issue has some new resonance that it lacked? i don't mean with hard core
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conservatives, but independents. maybe those left of the center, that there was some problem here they previously didn't recognize? >> i think it has to -- to an extent just because it will be more covered by the media when it was just a few hearings by committees. and those hearings were not run well. those republicans asking questions, i'm a conservative but i'll be critical here. it was like cats meowing. now you will have a hearing. it is a tv spectacle, whether you agree with it or not whether our politicians are lying to us and whether it was a misunderstanding, conspiracy. but mitt romney, 2012, he did not take the opportunity to make this an issue. it was the early days after the attack. but now i think just the absence of other news and the fact that you will have a committee and it is a big thing, the issue going forward, i don't think it necessarily leads to impeachment. but will lead to a better
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informed electorate about the presence of president obama -- >> quick response from mark jacobson, you admit it is a transparency problem and credibility problem for the white house not to have handed over an e-mail with such clear relevance? >> i'm not willing to say yet that it is a credibility problem. i think we'll see in the coming days why this took place. spectac spectacle, theater, this is not true concern for the nation's security. >> thank you so much for being here. republican donors facing a tough choice for 2016, one made harder by a scandal and the nostalgic name. and rick scott and months before the election, what is his real motivation. with back pain... ...and a choice. take 4 advil in a day which is 2 aleve... ...for all day relief. "start your engines"
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hey, time for headlines, redefined. the headlines that got the story half right. first up, 800,000 quit labor force in april. todays a you may know is jobs day and that is the first friday every month when the bureau of statistics reaches numbers relevant to the unemployment
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rate. what did we learn today? we learned we grew in april by 288,000 jobs. that is more, i think that most anticipated. but you know how it goes. both parties spin the data and try to use it for their own purposes. it did drive down the unemployment rate. but the republicans say the reason the unemployment rate declined is because fewer americans sought jobs. maybe that reason is because long-term unemployment benefits have now ended. and one of the checks on this system that we used to have is that in order for you to receive the long-term unemployment benefits you had to demonstrate you were actually looking for work. now that check has been removed from the system and that may explain why folks are no longer in that category. here is the way i would have remembered it. the old one said 800,000 quit labor force, what i would have written, unemployment drops 3%, the lowest level in five and a half years, now number two from
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cbs news, nigerian school girls reportedly sold as brides to boko haram islamist leaders, sadly, they were taken into custody, 16 to 18-year-old girls, then the purpose to sell them into marriage for the equivalent of just $12. 50 have escaped, the number is higher that are in captivity. when i saw the figure, you know what thought it put in my head? all the reported 229 other individuals whose lives were recently threatened. and boy that is where the comparison ends. because if you compare the resources and media attention given to missing malaysian flight 370, compared to this story which is now starting to garner attention, there is no comparison. you remember the headline?
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nigerian school girls reportedly sold as brides to boko haram militants? you know what i would have written, resources a fraction given compared to what is given to find the plane. i think florida has the hottest gubernatorial race in the country. charlie crist who used to have the job, and both trying to curry favor with the pro-marijuana plan. and they are in support of decriminalizing or even legalizing for some purposes marijuana. what is now taking place? charlie crist has already said he supports a ballot initiative that comes up in november, one supported by his law partner to actually get it on the ballot to begin with. and so he is looking the drive supporters from that initiative, and now comes rick scott saying you know what, on second thought, i will sign the bill
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that goes in support of the legal marijuana. you remember the old headline? rick scott would sign the bill in favor of medical marijuana? what i would have written? rick scott hopes to help the voter voters at the polls in november. there are a lot of eager donors ready to get into the 2016 race. the problem is they may have a candidate crisis. one choice is between a scandal and legacy. and you're about to meet stan powers, sort of. you may never have heard of him but he is all around you. ♪ ♪ ♪ ben! well, that was close! you ain't lying! let quicken loans help you save your money. with a mortgage that's engineered to amaze!
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some republicans looking to 2016 asking is it time for a third president bush? long time frontrunner chris christie says that donors looking for other options, another round of the bush dynasty may be one of those options, listen to what was said to my colleague, jake tapper. >> i have not really talked to jeb, you see it is hard for people to believe. i hope that jeb runs. i think he would be a great president.
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i have no clue what is on his mind. and we'll talk when he is ready. >> joining me now, a man who was a republican national finance chair under ronald reagan and george herbert walker bush, joining me now, as a garden state resident i said if this was a guy who would be on the fence as between governor christie and bush, that doesn't bode well for governor christie, does it? >> i think that many people who know the governor well also know governor bush well. i think there is a lot of overlap in the republican party. people have been involved for a long time with president bush. and with -- and with george w., and now with governor christie. and so on one level it is a blessing. we have competent, qualified people who may choose to run for president. i think that is an exciting thing, actually. >> it is my perception of you, as a guy who wants to win.
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i mean, really isn't that what a party is about? to win, not be an ideological vessel. i look at you as an old guard, the mainstream republican, that wants to wrestle control within the gop. am i overstating it? >> no, i don't think so, i think the simple truth is whether you're to the left of the spectrum or to the right of the spectrum, you're only going to get a certain number of votes, a certain percentage of votes. and everybody else that is in the middle somewhere, either right of center, left of center. so we need -- republicans need to select somebody that runs, that can appeal to people throughout that spectrum. >> in other words, you need someone who can win a general, not just win the iowa caucus and not just the new hampshire primary. >> that is correct. >> when reince priebus came out with the autopsy, the 2012 cycle, my opinions from the bleachers were to say if you
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want to open the process let everybody get in. and dulite that factor that puts forth letting the candidates win. >> the exciting process for 2016 on the democratic side it looks like it is hillarys, if she wants it. on the republican side we have a strong bench with a lot of qualified people. i am not frightened about the prospect of having many of those governors and people who in the congress, people that used to be in thei elective office like je, governor christie and paul ryan, and some of the senators we talked about. they are thoughtful people. and -- people that would make strong candidates, i think. and i think the debate is healthy, frankly. >> governor christie drew a line in the sand that said look, i didn't know. was very bold in his pronouncement to the press. weeks have gone off the clock. you would think that if there had been something out there by
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now it would have surfaced. you have an increased comfort level with him that he weathered this. >> i think all of us who know governor christie well respect him. he is a friend. and no one that i know thinks that he was the architect of closing down the lanes. and so i think in time it is all going to play out. and he is a very astute, smart, savvy guy, doing a good job now. >> today jeb bush met with russell moore, an evangelical leader. i'm curious, has he reached out for lawrence bathgate recently? >> we happened to talk to each other at college station three or four weeks ago, by chance. and i'm co-hosting an event this coming wednesday night in
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westfield, new jersey. the next generation of the bush family who is offering their services to the country. >> sounds to me like that thing is getting serious. lawrence bathgate, thanks for being here hemplt's smart, crude, and stuffing a crisis of conscience. he's not a senator in the midst of a scandal. he's stan powers, and he may be a fictional character, but he has a message for all of us. but first, fitness train canning benefit our health but for people living with disabilities that benefit may be out of reach. this week's cnn hero has found a way to help. >> when i'm running i feel limitless. being in motion makes me feel free. like you're really pushing yourself. that's when you really feel alive. but there are millions of people around the world that are facing severe physical limitations. they can't be independent, they can't live their lives. i spent years training olympic athletes, football players, body builders. one day a young guy newly spinal cord injured came to the gym
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asking for help. at first i didn't know what to do but we just worked together. he made tremendous progress. take a breath, reach out. reach out. bring it back. before you knew it, my phone rang off the hook with people asking for help. so i opened a jim designed to fair it this needs. ready to go to work? >> heck, yeah. >> for the past 25 years, i've provided by strength and conditioning training for people with disabilities. people come to me when they're at their lowest. up hold it. you come to the gym and all of a sunday off natural support network. >> in 1971 i broke my back and i've been in a wheelchair ever since. thanks to ned i keep my upper body strength at a maximum. i've been able to live a full life. >> i never worry about what they can't do, i worry about what they can do.
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>> one last thing. benghazi is back in the news. the mere mention of that locale sends partisans scurrying to suit up in their usual uniforms. to republicans it's a one-word catch phrase for the multitude of sinces committed by this president and to democrats it's but an overused talking point by opponents who were always intent on strangling this administration in its crib. in the bigger picture, it's just this week's clearest example of our partisan divide in a political world marked by heightened polarization and corresponding lack of civility. not just benghazi, look at the debate over ukraine or the latest job figures. surely truth is more nuanced than either portrayal of each of these issues. such is my conviction that it's time for independent thinkers to wrest control of our debate from extremists that on tuesday my sixth book will be published and
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it concerns this subject. it's called "talk" and i took some liberties as i wrote it. it's written as fiction, not exactly "50 shades of talk radio" but it's a baudy read. and they say there's truth in gist so get ready to meet one stan powers. in "talk," powers is the radio king of the i-4 corridor, the stretch of swing votes between tampa and/or lando. you win there, you win florida. you win the sunshine state, you captured the white house which is not bad for a former stoner and slacker who lacks any personal conviction but succeeds nevertheless by simply parroting the conservative talking points of a legendary consultant. the sad truth is that it's not farfetched. think about it. the polarized media is itself a creation in the last three decades. this is where those ideologically driven voters who dictate the nomination process in hyperpartisan districts within closed primary states go for their news and opinion. and it's where members of
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congress who are elected strive to stay in good said the. today the quickest path to success is to say something incendiary, get picked up in the cable or talk radio world and become a fund-raising magnet. issues like benghazi are perfect vehicles to do that. in "talk" stan powers recognizes that the more he says with which he personally disagrees the higher his star rises. it's not important that he offer substance, it's only noornt he offer a consistent ideological point of view regardless of accuracy. and the question for powers is this -- he l he continue to play the game according to his cynical advisors or listen to his own conscience? you'll have to read the book to know how it resolves but when you think about it, that's not just a question for my fictional protagonist, it's a question for the nation. surely we live in a world more nuanced than one where everything one party does or represents is right and the
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other is wrong. because the alternative is we are all two dimensional characters living in a fictional america. i'm michael smerconish. thank you so much for watching. i'll be back here tomorrow morning at 9:00. cnn's "special report, the trials of amanda knox" starts right now. . >> welcome to our cnn special report "the trials of amanda knox" and the case that's held the world's attention for close to seven years just took another shocking left turn. the italian court that reconvicted knox of murder explained its reasons and they are almost as bizarre as the case itself. they include an entirely new theory of what happened that night and why, evidence that was never heard of before, even additional perpetrators. in a moment you will hear what amanda knox herself as to say